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School Committee, District 6

There are two candidates for School Committee in District 6.The general election will be held on Tuesday, November 7, 2017.
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  • Michelle A. Brosnahan¬†

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    Geoffrey Epstein Engineering consultant

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Biographical Information

Why are you seeking election to the Framingham School Committee?

Describe your qualifications for the position. If applicable, include some of your accomplishments from a prior school committee term.

What are the top 2 issues facing the Framingham Public Schools now and how would you address them if elected?

Several schools in Framingham are under-performing. How do you envision getting these schools up to par with other schools in Framingham?

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Campaign Phone (617) 645-1884
Relevant Experience PhD Physics Sydney U; Asst prof physics, BU;30 years Engineering; Newton School Committee 2008-2013
I am seeking election because we have some real challenges ahead, and I firmly believe that I can bring the right mix of experience, judgment and new ideas to the School Committee, to ensure that our school system is constantly improving and delivering the best possible education for our kids.

The 6 years of School Committee experience I have in a city environment is well matched to the principal tasks ahead: transitioning to city government, working with a new superintendent, strategic planning, building a budget with the right investments in innovation, improving student achievement, rebuilding schools and collective bargaining. I have sound experience in all these areas.

A major concern is underperforming schools and, with the blend of experience and new ideas, the next School Committee will make real progress on this problem.

There is nothing I consider more worthwhile than serving on the next School Committee to invest in Framingham at a time of great change and great promise.
I served on the Newton School Committee for 6 years. That service was in a city context, with full engagement with Mayor and council. I served on the Framingham Communications and PR Task Force, which recommended major changes to FPS communications. In my school committee service, I participated actively in hiring a new superintendent and working with him to foster real school system improvements. I helped expand support for math instruction, and successfully defended against cuts in music, the arts and elective courses when budget time came around. I have been through several school building projects, including arguing successfully for debt exclusions, which secured millions of dollars of state assistance. I have experience with collective bargaining having gone through a full cycle of contracts with a new Mayor. This experience is a good fit, as we shift to city government, work with a new superintendent, manage the Fuller building project and head into contract negotiations in 2018.
The top two issues are: (1) Managing the transition to city government, with the Mayor and Council as new major players in the planning, management and funding process. (2) Ensuring that the School Committee and the Superintendent work as a team to rapidly develop an effective strategic plan and then execute on it. The superintendent explained this very well in the Framingham Public Schools Welcome Back Video on YouTube. For (1), I hope to bring to bear the 6 years of city experience I already have of working with a Mayor, Council, Superintendent and School Committee members, to help ensure that this transition goes smoothly. For (2), the Superintendent has a jump on this, so we can use that framework in which to identify the key issues, such as school performance, school building infrastructure (age and capacity), communications, digital infrastructure, and devise prioritized action plans to feed into the FY19 budget, MSBA building process and contract negotiations.
Under-performing schools will be addressed in the strategic planning framework noted above, involving FPS staff, School Committee and community. The specific schools, all Level 3, are elementary: Brophy, McCarthy, Woodrow Wilson and middle: Fuller. Lots of input and analysis will ultimately forge a solution. Here is my input. Focusing on the elementary schools, and using the public Dept. of Education data tools, it is apparent that two common factors for these schools are the higher percentage of Latino and economically disadvantaged students. Barbieri has a similar student profile but is doing much better: Level 2. Can the Barbieri immersion approach be applied to the other schools? Further, Stapleton has a similar student profile but is doing better: Level 2. Can Stapleton practices be applied to the other schools? If the problem is solved at the elementary level, Fuller should benefit greatly. This a simplistic view, but that is one piece of my input to this joint effort.

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